When I would have healed Israel
Or rather, "when I healed Israel" F11; for this is not to be understood of a velleity, wish, or desire of healing and saving them, as Jarchi; nor of a bare attempt to do it by the admonitions of the prophets, and by corrections in Providence; but of actual healing them; and by which is meant, not healing them in a spiritual and religious sense, as in ( Hosea 6:1 ) ; but in a political sense, of the restoring of their civil state to a more flourishing condition; which was done in the times of Jeroboam the son of Joash, as Kimchi rightly observes; who restored the coast of Israel, from the entering of Hamath, unto the sea of the plain, ( 2 Kings 14:25 2 Kings 14:26 ) ; then the iniquity of Ephraim was discovered, and the wickedness of
some refer this to the times of Jeroboam the first, and that the sense is, that the Lord having cured Israel of the idolatry introduced by Solomon, quickly a new scene of idolatry broke out in Ephraim, or the ten tribes, of which Samaria was the metropolis; for Jeroboam soon set up the calves at Dan and Bethel to be worshipped; but it does not appear that Israel was corrupted with the idolatry of Solomon, and needed a cure then; nor was Samaria built in Jeroboam's time: others apply it to the times of Jehu, who, though he slew the worshippers of Baal, and broke his images, and destroyed him out of Israel, yet retained the worship of the calves at Dan and Bethel, ( 2 Kings 10:25-30 ) ; so, though they were healed of one sort of idolatry, another prevailed. It is right, in both these senses, that the iniquity of Ephraim, and wickedness or wickednesses of Samaria, are taken for the idolatrous worship of the golden calves; but then it respects the times of Jeroboam the second, the son of Joash, in whose days Israel was prosperous; and yet these superstitious and idolatrous practices of worship were flagrant and notorious, were countenanced by the king and his courtiers that dwelt at Samaria, as is clear from ( Amos 7:10-13 ) ; which was an instance of great ingratitude to the Lord; for they commit falsehood;
among themselves, lying to one another, and deceiving each other; or to God, deal falsely with him, are guilty of false worship, worshipping idols, which are vanities and lies: and the thief cometh in, [and] the troop of robbers spoileth without;
which may be interpreted either of their sins, their sins in general, both private and public; and their sins of theft and robbery in particular; both such as were committed in houses by the thief privately entering there, and by a gang of robbers in the streets, or on the highway: so the Targum,
``in the night they thieve in houses, and in the day they rob on the plain,''or fields: or else of punishment for their sins; and then the words may be rendered F12, "therefore the thief entereth in, and the troop" or "army spreads without"; this thief was Shallum, who came in to kill and to steal; he slew Zachariah the son of Jeroboam, after he had reigned six months, and usurped the kingdom, and so put an end to the family of Jehu, according as the Lord had threatened, ( 2 Kings 8:12 ) ; the troop or army is the Assyrian army under Pul, who came against Menahem, king of Israel, of whom he exacted a tribute, and departed, ( 2 Kings 15:19 2 Kings 15:20 ) ; so Cocceius.